Finding Christ in the Christmas Tree: Instilling Meaning in a Familiar Tradition

Finding Christ in the Christmas Tree

Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to develop meaningful family traditions.

Christ’s birth, the events surrounding it, the history of the holiday’s celebration, and all the symbols and cultural background offer a wealth of teaching material for parents who want to teach their children about why Christ came and how to view the world from a Christian perspective.

Really, there are TOO many options! There are so many devotionals, crafts, activity guides, unit studies, and more that it can be overwhelming! I know that there have been times I’ve tried to do too much because the sheer volume of good material out there is crazy!

I’ve shared quite a bit about what we do for Advent, Saint Nicholas Day, Hanukkah, and more. Frankly, we don’t have room to add much more. But, when Rachel from Titus 2 Homemaker asked me if I’d take a look at her new little book, Finding Christ in the Christmas Tree, I was intrigued.

The premise of the book is simple: Rachel tells us how her family uses something that most of us already do – decorating the Christmas tree – to focus their family’s attention on Christ and our Christian walk. So, instead of adding yet another activity to our already busy holiday schedules, it’s taking something that’s already in the plans and making it meaningful! 

Some argue that the Christmas tree has roots in paganism. Others point to stories about Saint Boniface and Martin Luther to show that there is Christian significance to this tradition. Finding Christ in the Christmas Tree takes a different approach, yet one that’s compatible with other ways that Christians make this holiday tradition meaningful.

Each element of the tree and it’s decorations represents something significant:

  • The bare tree represents Christ as the Branch, and also echoes His crucifixion on a tree.
  • The lights represent Christ as the Light of the World
  • Red decorations represent the past and Christ’s blood shed for us.
  • Silver decorations represent the present and our sanctification as God refines us like silver.
  • Gold decorations represent the future and our glorification.

Rachel explains that her family adds each layer separately, taking time to reflect on what each one represents. The book has Scripture readings and hymns and Christmas carols to go with each layer. Once these elements have been added, her family adds the rest of their ornaments that don’t fit into one of these categories. She discusses a couple of neat family traditions they have with their additional ornaments also.

I love this idea! It’s simple, unique, and easy to add, and it makes for some great discussion on not just the meaning of Christmas, but theological concepts like the atonement, sanctification, and the new heavens and new earth. Decorating the tree is something you’re going to be doing anyway, so why not make it meaningful? 

If the idea is appealing to you, be sure to take a look at Rachel’s book, Finding Christ in the Christmas Tree. It walks you through each element with discussion, Scripture, and hymns/carols in a simple, brief, easy to use format, with a quick reference guide in the appendix so you can see all the Scriptures and hymns at a glance.

Do you have any special traditions for decorating your tree? Any ornaments with special significance?

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Comments

  1. Thank you, Kara, for this thoughtful review! This has become one of our daughters’ favorite parts of the Christmas season. 🙂
    Rachel R. recently posted…Do You Have Backups in Your Life?My Profile

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